Monday, December 28, 2009

Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Be ready for a software license audit

Microsoft continues to file cases against companies and individuals caught selling infringing software and systems. Every month, Microsoft receives hundreds of piracy reports from customers and from the system builder community. These reports enable Microsoft to investigate and address piracy across the country, and they are critical to the success of our anti-piracy efforts.

Almost all of the cases that Microsoft has recently filed resulted from either customer or channel piracy reports. The most recent round of cases were filed against 15 companies and individuals, including:

  • VioSoftware (Lafayette, CO)
  • Royal Discount (Boulder, CO)
  • (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Dallas Computer (Plano, TX)
  • Daroc Computers (El Paso, TX)

For a full listing of all of the cases that have been filed this month and in the past, click here.

“Software audit painful and costly for the noncompliant” read the full article,289142,sid195_gci1340705,00.html

Contact us if you are concerned about your company’s software compliance

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

10 Tips for Optimizing QuickBooks Performance

For a fresh start on the new year, refer to these tips to gain top performance from your QuickBooks software.

1. Make sure your hardware meets or exceeds minimum requirements.

The right hardware will help you get the most out of QuickBooks. Learn more about the system requirements for your version of
QuickBooks 2010
QuickBooks 2009
QuickBooks 2008
QuickBooks 2007

2. Always use QuickBooks in Recommended Mode and optimize network performance.

Proper network setup is essential for optimal QuickBooks performance. Learn more.
For best performance on a network, use a 100 Mbps hard-wired network. Avoid wireless network solutions, due to possible breaks in
the connection.
Also avoid external hard drives when possible. Use a fast disk on the server. The faster the disk, the better QuickBooks will perform:
7,200 to 10,000 rpm is good.

3. Improve performance in multi-user mode.

For the best performance in multi-user mode, be sure to install QuickBooks or the QuickBooks Server on the same computer where
the company file is located and set up that computer according to the recommended multi-user setup.
You can do most day-to-day tasks in multi-user mode without noticing much difference in performance. Tasks that take a long time
to complete, such as running large reports, can affect performance for other users. A few tasks, such as finding transactions,
temporarily prevent other users from working on the company file. Consider doing these tasks when other users are not working in
the company file.
Important: If you are an Intuit QuickBooks Assisted Payroll subscriber, please note that you cannot transmit Assisted Payroll in
multi-user mode.

4. Configure anti-virus software properly.

An anti-virus utility running a real-time scanning engine can cause QuickBooks to operate at a slower speed. You can improve
performance by disabling real-time scanning. Read more about anti-virus software and QuickBooks.

5. Configure firewalls so they will not interfere with QuickBooks.

Internet security and personal firewall application settings can affect how QuickBooks accesses payroll and program updates online.
Incorrect settings can result in update errors. Learn more about configuring firewall programs.

6. Run anti-spyware software.

Spyware can create significant unwanted CPU activity, disk usage, and network traffic—slowing down the legitimate use of system
resources by QuickBooks.

7. Defragment your hard drive regularly.

Performing this task keeps hard drive access as fast as possible. In Windows, go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools. Click
on Disk Defragmenter. When the window pops up, click Defragment to begin the process. The defragmentation process can take
several hours, especially the first time. You may want to consider doing this after you’re done for the day so that the process can run
overnight if it needs to.

8. Reduce the number of reminders and memorized transactions.

Reminders and memorized transactions can increase QuickBooks start-up time. If your program starts too slowly, try limiting your
reminders and memorized transactions to just those you really need. In the Reminders preferences, select Don’t Remind Me for
tasks for which you don’t need a reminder.
You can improve the performance of day-to-day tasks by also modifying some of your other QuickBooks preferences. In the Reports &
Graphs preferences, for example, consider selecting Prompt me to refresh or Don’t refresh. Refreshing reports automatically can
QuickBooks Payroll Bulletin[12/11/2009 8:15:12 AM]
slow performance.

9. Uninstall previous versions of QuickBooks.

Uninstalling previous versions of QuickBooks should help you improve program start-up time:
1. From your Windows Start menu, go to Settings>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs.
2. For each previous version of QuickBooks, click Uninstall.
If you have Windows Vista, follow these instructions:
1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clicking
Programs and Features.
2. Select a program, and then click Uninstall. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the
password or provide confirmation.

10. Periodically clean up your company file.

This feature, formerly called Archive and Condense, removes obsolete list entries and transactions.
To clean up your company file:
1. In QuickBooks, go to the File menu and select Utilities.
2. Select Clean Up Company Data.
Sometimes you can achieve additional file compression by creating and restoring a portable company file. Learn more.
For More Information
For additional details and tips, see the QuickBooks Knowledge Base article "Improving system performance."
QuickBooks Payroll Bulletin
Editor: Lise Quintana
Publisher: Intuit
We welcome your suggestions and feedback! Unfortunately, we cannot respond to requests for change of address,
technical support, or sales information.
E-mail us at
The information contained in the QuickBooks Payroll Bulletin is meant to provide general information about the payroll process and is not intended
to provide tax or legal advice. Always consult your tax professional when preparing tax documents.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

WOW Technology Post – You’ve got to watch this

Check out this video.  Franz Vogel (a great business coach for small business) sent it to me and I was so excited I’ve shown it to several people already.  Its exciting to see new technology inventions.  I know that the commercial applications of this are in the pipeline already.  Let me know what you think!

Sixth Sense Technology

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shameless Plug for Girls Inc. and Bella’s Boutique

Technorati Tags:

I thought I would take a break (as I am writing the next couple posts) to let you know about a great event that is happening.  Bella’s Boutique (yes a client and dear friend) is giving money to Girls Inc.  Girls Inc. is an organization that inspires young girls to be strong, smart and bold.  And who doesn’t want that for the girls in your life!  If you haven’t been to Bella’s Boutique (two stores 1 in Stamford on Vine & High Ridge and another in that wonderful part of Tarrytown down by the water) plan on going there.  It is a wonderful place for wonderful gift items for girls and women (and won’t blow your holiday budget).  You can buy some awesome gift and help out a great cause. 

So spread the word!!! Tell your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to stop by
Bella’s Boutique for their holiday shopping. With two locations:
1 Vine Road 2nd floor – Stamford CT 203.968.2900
35 North Broadway – Tarrytown NY 914.333.7778

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What is Sharepoint?

I recently got a notice to collaborate with another professional using Sharepoint. Included on the invitation was a great explanation on what a Sharepoint site it which I've pasted below.

Why do I think you would care? You may also be looking to eek more time out of your day! (I get such a thrill )
About a year ago I found I was spending more and more time answering emails, looking for emails, looking for documents. Being the effeciency nut I am (its that German gene :)), I started asking people how they were dealing with this problem. Through those conversations I learned even more Outlook goodies, and the idea of a Sharepoint site to replace the documents and folders that have gotten dumped into our server. Its been a tremendous help and has saved tons of time already. Here is what we've done with ours:

1. Company Bookmarks - now we have 1 central place for all the websites we use and need to keep communicated to our staff
2. Purchasing work flow - instead of having quotes and proposals flying through email we now have them in our Sharepoint library which gives us a central place to deposit them, check in/out and provide workflow status and approvals - huge for us!
3. Client reports, notes, documents you name it now all live in our Sharepoint
4. internal blog
5. Discussion board - this has stopped the string of email conversations and moved them to a place that is less obtrusive and captures them cleanly for future reference.

If you're struggling with too much email and too many documents and a place for team collaboration, give me a call.

What is a Share Point site?

A SharePoint site is a Web site that provides a central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas. A SharePoint site is a tool for collaboration, just like a telephone is a tool for communication, or a meeting is a tool for decision making. A SharePoint site helps groups of people (whether work teams or social groups) share information and work together. For example, a SharePoint site can help you:
  • Coordinate projects, calendars, and schedules.
  • Discuss ideas and review documents or proposals.
  • Share information and keep in touch with other people.
SharePoint sites are dynamic and interactive -- members of the site can contribute their own ideas and content as well as comment on or contribute to other people's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Should I buy a new PC now or wait until Windows 7 comes out?

So you are thinking about replacing your old computer, but your thinking, “Do I wait for Windows 7?” No! is our advise, but if your purchase smart you can get the option to upgrade down the road at little or no cost!

Windows 7 is currently scheduled to be released to the public on the 22nd of October. We here at CMIT believe that to make the transition to a new operating system with the smallest amount of frustration and technical problems it is best to wait until the first service pack for the new operating system comes out. This could be up to six months down the road. But if you need a new PC now, you will need to buy one with Vista; right? Not at all, you could purchase the new system with XP Professional downgrade and get an upgrade path to Windows 7 for little or no cost, here’s how.

Dell is currently providing, through Microsoft, a little or at no cost option to upgrade to Windows 7. To be eligible for this program, you must have or will have purchased a new Dell system between June 26, 2009 and December 31, 2009. Next you will need to sign up for the program on their website at This site also contains details on the eligible Dell systems along with FAQ’s and Contact information, if you need more help to guide you through the process, along with the most current information on the program.

If you purchase the new system through us we will, as part of our purchasing assistance program, 1) guaranty you the lowest price for the new system, 2) work with you to take care of configuring the correct solution 3) take care of all the registration details and 4) track the delivery of the new system and 5) advise you of software upgrades.

The nice thing about this program is that you can take advantage of it and still get Windows XP Professional, then after the first service pack for Windows 7 comes out you can upgrade to Windows 7 and have a stable platform to conduct your business on because you already have the new software.

Author: Dave Wass

Monday, September 7, 2009

I want to buy a new laptop what should I be looking for?

A friend of mine (thank you Gail!) emailed me this morning with this question. I get this question a lot so I figured I’d post it for all to read! Here is what I told her

XP Pro will cost you more than Vista, but Vista needs more memory and processor horsepower. Windows 7 will be coming out but we probably won’t know until Q2 2010 as to whether there is an advantage to upgrade to it.

Vista on a 64-bit processor is faster

With Vista you will need to be willing to take on the GUI change. Some of your existing hardware (printers, cameras, etc) may need Vista drivers, its not always available for hardware older than 2 years.

Unless you need to network it you can go with Vista Home, but business and ultimate Editions have more commercial and multi-media features and the upgrade paths are more expensive than buying the right edition up front.

Hardware is dependent on the software you are running and how fast you want it to perform. Vista & Office 2007 & Norton 2009 require more memory, and processor horsepower than XP Pro, Office 2003 and Norton 2008.

Decide on your operating system and what you think you will want the OS to be in 4 years.

Decide on weight.

Based on weight you can then decide on display size (the bigger the display the heavier).

Buy a business model not a consumer model (for example for Dell Latitude is the business model) laptop.,

My advise get the laptop with the best processor you can afford. can be used to compare. Then get to a minimum of 2 GB of RAM, (max it out if you are doing Vista; memory is cheep). Unless you have a lot of large files, music, videos etc, you can keep the hard drive small to reduce the weight. Office 2007 Student Edition if you don’t need Outlook; If you do the Office 2007 edition that has what you need (or you can may consider Google docs as an alternative); getting Office at purchase time is a lot less expensive than buying it separate because you are getting what is called a OEM version (however it is only licensed to the processor you purchased). Get a 3 year Pro warranty that doesn’t require you to mail it in; the additional cost of Pro will save you tons of time and aggravation if you have to get onto the phone with support. Don’t forget Anti-Virus and a data backup solution. We have had poor experience with Sony Vios and other manufacturers that are targeted at multi-media users rather than business.”

Configuring the right machine for you and your future use of it takes a knowledge of the market and experience. The “right” purchase changes all the time. Nearly always you get what you pay for. If you see a “ good deal” chances are there is something in the configuration that makes it that price. If you are a careful shopper and know what to steer away from you can find some great deals out there. Because of all this we offer Purchase Assistance on a fixed or hourly basis to our non-Marathon clients (Marathon clients get it free).

Monday, August 31, 2009

How to save on your next Dell purchase

Buy it through CMIT Solutions!!!!

Yet again, I saw an email about someone that ordered a Dell machine directly through the Dell site (or by calling their toll free number) and probably has made the wrong purchase.  They don’t know the difference between AMD and Intel processors and how to evaluate the processor type, speed and memory to get the fastest computing cycles at the best price.  They probably thought they were saving money by buying the “Basic” service contract instead of Pro-IT.  They didn’t know … and so on.  Why do people do this?  Because they assume (you all know what happens when you assume…) they are going to get a better deal then if they called us.  WRONG! We WILL save you $$$.  Here is why.

Reason #1We will match or beat any price you get directly from Dell

Reason #2  Use our years of experience to work with you to create the configuration that is perfect for you and your needs.  Do you know the difference in all of those processors that they offer, or the different hard drives?  We do!  We know what happens when the right computer is not purchased because your complaints end up with us, So we are motivated to make sure you get what you need and don’t spend a dollar more than you have to.   If this is your first purchase with us, we’ll provide this at no additional charge.  If you’re a Marathon client, It costs you NOTHING extra for this service since CMIT Purchase Assistance is just one feature of your Marathon plan.

Reason #3.  We are a Certified Dell reseller.  So what? 

Lets say you start having a problem with your new Dell machine in the next 3 years.  Since you’ve chosen CMIT as your “Go To” IT department, you’ll call us.  We’ll come over and troubleshoot the problem.  Ah, low and behold, it turns out to be a hardware problem. 

If you didn’t buy through us this is what now happens…..

Since your busy and lack the expertise to make sure Dell recognizes their own problem, you pay us hourly to call Dell, have a Dell technician verify the problem (45 min to hours depending on the level tech you end up with). 

Or you’ll call Dell yourself and expend that time yourself, taking you away from the pressing phone calls you need to be making to grow your business.   

If you DID buy through us…..

The technical specialist, will call Dave at our office, let him know what part is needed, he’ll order the warranty part with Dell (only certified partners have the ability to bypass the Dell call center and order warranty parts directly).  No additional billable time or time spent on your part talking with Dell about their problem!

Feel free to call us to discuss your next Dell purchase, or just to say hi!

Friday, August 28, 2009

August Newsletter Highlights

Click here to access the August Edition of the CMIT Solutions Newsletter

Okay, okay, August is almost over, but I’m new to blogging and still getting the hang of figuring out what would be good to post!  Here is a quick summary of the highlights.

* Great client story of how we reduced downtime and saved over $10K doing it!

* How CMIT can help you in-house IT staff more effective!

* Did you hear I helped author a book?  “I JUST Want My Computer to Work!”

* Calling all Doctors!  We understand you.

* Banish Digital Clutter in 4 Simple Steps

September’s newsletter is almost ready, be on the look out!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Job Opening at CMIT Solutions

***** News Flash *******

CMIT Stamford along with 3 other tri-state CMIT offices are launching a quest for a team of SUPERSTAR Sales People. Read on.......

Superstars only…

IT Solutions Sales Associate & Business Market Development Associate

CMIT has an immediate need for driven, successful hunters who are great at selling managed services to the SMB (small/mid-sized business) market.

You can earn over $150K if you are a star, but do not even proceed unless you are an overachiever and can prove it.

CMIT has openings in North Jersey & Long Island for an IT Solutions Sales Associates and in Manhattan, Westchester and Fairfield Counties for a Business Market Development Associate.

Visit our website at to review job requirements. While at the site, you will gain an understanding of our products, services, outstanding company culture and planned future growth.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tired of typing the same phrase over and over as a response to emails you receive?

Keyboard shortcuts are your answer!

Use keyboard shortcuts (or shortcut keys): Using keyboard shortcuts can help you complete some tasks faster and easier. Many features and commands in Office 2003 programs are available directly from the keyboard using keyboard shortcuts (pressing two or more keys simultaneously). Or, you can assign custom keyboard shortcuts to a command, macro, font, AutoText entry, style, or commonly used symbol.

The steps to setting this up are:

1. Create a new AutoText phrase with the repetitive text you want to paste frequently into email

2. Access Outlook Customize panel to gain access to the keyboard shortcuts area. Specify a command and assign it a keyboard short cut.

Then, each time you want this phrase to "paste" into your response enter the keyboard shortcut and wah-lah it appears.

To find a list of keyboard shortcuts or learn how to assign custom keyboard shortcuts, open the Help menu in Office 2003 programs (press F1), and type "keyboard shortcuts."

Check out these additional resource to figure it out yourself:

For a one-to-one training session (remote or on site on your machine) give us a call.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to CMIT Solutions Stamford Blog

What is a Blog?
A blog is a shared on-line journal where people can post diary like entries about a subject. The term blog is a contraction of the term web log. We (myself and the rest of the CMIT Stamford Staff) will provide information about SMB (small midsized business) technology, experiences and company happening that our clients and other company friends may find of interest.

Why have we launched a Blog, we already have a website?
Currently our website, is more geared for people that don’t have an existing relationship with. The website provides good high level information on who we are, what we do and our standard products. However, with this blog we want to engage the community of people that already know the basics about us and need (and want) the next level of information.

How do you interact with blog?

1. Become a Follower – you’ll get an alert whenever we post something new.
Just click this symbol
which appears to the right of the word “Followers” on the left hand navigation. You’ll need to use an existing account with one of the companies indicated or create a one with one of them (I personally like Google).

2. E-mail us with topics you want to hear about at You’ll be alerted when we’ve added a posting that address to your topic. This is a way for you to ask all those lingering questions you haven’t asked or where afraid to. Remember the old dumb question is the one you don’t ask.

3. Email our posts to a friend. At the bottom of each post you will see an envelope symbol . Click and you can alert a friend about something we’ve blogged about that they will be interested in.

4. Comment on a post. Under each post you will see comments. Clicking on it will bring you to a response box that will allow you to leave a comment about the post. It will be posted as soon as it is reviewed.